Intertextuality and Subversion in Selected Children’s Readers and their Corresponding Animated Film Adaptations
Mwichuli, Maurice Simbili
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This research sought to undertake a comparative study of selected Children’s Readers and their corresponding animated film adaptations. Central to the study was how intertextuality and possible subversions in the films impact on the interpretation and literary elements of the source texts. The ultimate aim was to establish whether and how the adapted animated films either added to or reduced the literary value of the source texts. This study interrogated Robinson Crusoe for Boys and Girls and the corresponding animated film Robinson Crusoe/ The Wild Life; Rapunzel with its adapted animated film Tangled; Briar Rose adapted into The Seventh Dwarf and Munro Leaf’s The Story of Ferdinand which was adapted into the film Ferdinand. The literary texts and films were purposively selected for this dissertation. The texts were studied with an aim of establishing how they (literary and film texts) complement each other and the ultimate literary appeal. The research took a qualitative approach. The researcher read the antecedent texts and watched the subsequent adapted animations to collect the essential data. Other reference material, relevant to the study, was sourced from the library and online. The material was then analyzed in the light of the set objectives, guided by the tenets of Adaptation Theory as proposed by Andrew Dudley, Linda Hutcheon and Julie Sanders. The researcher argues that this study will hopefully be a worthy contribution to adaptation studies, especially where children’s readers and animated films are involved. In this era of digitization and use of different media, intertextuality and subversion are continually gaining importance in both literary and film studies as texts seek to address needs of a transforming audience and society hence the need for this research. The set objectives of the research were met. This study established that though literary elements were used in both literary and adapted animated texts, their application and achievements varied. The elements were used to tell the same story differently. They were applied differently as allowed by the creativity of the authors and directors and the flexibility of the media used. Even so, the adapted film texts were richer as they made use of intertextuality, hybridity and plurality to bridge the gap between different times, subjects and audiences.